New tool allows for faster water quality tests

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego County’s Department of  Environmental Health announced improvements to its water quality testing program Thursday, just ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend.

A new testing tool allows officials to speed up the process of testing water samples for potentially dangerous levels of bacteria. Before implementing the new method at the beginning of the summer, it took up to 96 hours to process test results and alert beachgoers about bacteria levels. Now, the officials have results back within 24 hours.

“That gives us the ability to get the information out to the public faster and let people know where it’s safe to swim,” said Lars Seifert, Land and Water Quality Division Chief for the County’s Department of Environmental Health.

DEH also more than doubled the number of testing locations between Coronado and Tijuana. They will increase testing frequency during the winter at areas most impacted by sewage flows from the Tijuana River.

DEH encourages all beachgoers to check their website for beach closures or advisories before going into the water.

“It’s really cool that they’re doing that. It’s different. I’m glad that they’re making sure that the beaches are clean,” one visitor said.

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